Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Anna Faris, Bill HaderSony


The sequel to 2010's popular animated adventure "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" picks up where its predecessor left off – the aftermath of young inventor Flint Lockwood's (Bill Hader) amazing food device – the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, or FLDSMDFR – causing a huge unnatural disaster on the island of Swallow Falls. With the island nearly destroyed under the weight of a storm of rotting, melting food, the government sends in the world's most technological company, Live Corp., run by goateed CEO Chester V (Will Forte), to clean up the mess.

Chester V evacuates the island and offers Flint a job at his renowned company in the fictional city of San Fernanjose. Only Flint is too blinded by his admiration of Chester V to see that the "visionary" boss wants to steal FLDSMDFR for himself. Chester sends the naïve Flint back to Swallow Falls to find the FLDSMDFR, so Flint's crew, including his weather reporter girlfriend Sam (Anna Faris), fisherman dad (James Caan), and faithful pet monkey Steve (Neil Patrick Harris) accompanies back home to find it is overrun by "living food" that has morphed into animal hybrids – some gentle and kind and some terrifying predators.

Will Kids Love It? Most kids love movies about talking animals, so a movie where it's not just regular animals, but food-animal hybrids that talk? They're going to be ridiculously into the various "foodimals," like the adorable marshmallow family, Barry the wide-eyed strawberry, and the watermelephants... but even the scary (at first) predators like the Taco-dile, the apple pie-thons, and the cheespider are all going to dazzle young viewers who will spend a good part of the movie trying to figure out what all the various combinations of snacks and animals. Considering everything else at the box office right now is either a thriller, horror, or mature comedy flick, this is the surest bet of the early fall for your family.

Will Parents Enjoy Themselves? With the original, I was too upset that it was nothing like the classic children's book I loved reading to my children to give into the clever story line. But now that I know not to expect an adaptation at all, I was able to enjoy the sequel and think parents will feel for Mr. Lockwood as he tries to help his son Flint, and let's be clear, those little food-animals are just too cute to resist. Plus, the "visionary CEO" jokes are obviously aimed at us grown ups. Not sure the studio needs to make another installment, but this one is funny and visually entertaining enough for a family matinee.

Do We Pay the 3D Charge? Some kids love 3D and spend half the movie with their hands outstretched trying to "touch" the screen, whereas other young moviegoers won't even bother to keep the glasses on at all. There were some cute moments in 3D, particularly because of the fantastical and colorful food-animal hybrids, but if any of you has an aversion to 3D, the movie will be fine without the glasses.

Who Should Go? This is an animated adventure that is ideal for younger kids but will also appeal to the older elementary school set that liked the raining-food shenanigans of the original and can appreciate the inventor humor. I'd say it's a whole-family affair, except I'm not sure teens will have this high on their must-see lists.